EAST TEXAS (KLTV)- DPS is warning citizens to beware of a current phone scam operation regarding payment of red light camera violation tickets. DPS officials say scammers are calling people all over the state demanding that they pay overdue red-light tickets. Red light camera's are being used in several East Texas cities, and if you've been ticketed, you know how it works. But DPS officials say scammers are calling citizens, claiming to represent DPS.
"We've been hearing about incidents in a couple parts of the state where people have been calling Texans at home demanding that they immediately pay for overdue red light tickets," says Texas DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange.
"They often have identified themselves as representing DPS, they've also said they represent other law enforcement agencies," she adds.
The tactic is intimidation.
"They just call up and say , you have an overdue red light camera ticket! if you don't pay right now we will issue a warrant for your arrest," Mange says.
They insist that the individual provide a credit card number and other personal information. This new scam is very convincing, the callers use DPS jargon, and seem believable. But there's one problem.
"We don't call folks to let them know or remind them that they owe money on traffic fines," says Longview Police officer Kristie Brian.
If you are ticketed through the red-light camera system, you'll be notified by mail. You'll receive a form which has your name and owners registration, and an instruction page on how to pay the fine. No phone calls.
"The company we use would never notify by phone, that should be a red flag right off the bat," Brian says.
This scam has been reported all over Texas.
"We're concerned about this because when the scammers call , they're demanding the persons name , their social security number. With that amount of information it would be easy for someone to turn around and commit identity theft," says Mange.
As with any scam, no credit card or personal information should be given to anyone over the phone. Anyone getting this type of call should immediately note the number the call came from and notify police.